August 20, 2010

The Flesh vs. The spirit

Posted in Authority, Christian Living, Christianity, Faith tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 2:00 am by Lisa Ritchey


I spelled “spirit” in the title with a lower case (little) “s” on purpose.  You will find out why in a moment.  

The Bible tells us over and over that we are to walk in the spirit, and not in the flesh (i.e. Galatians 5).  So many people have no idea what that really means, though.  Here are the facts (and the Scriptures) to get to the heart of this:  

We are made up of three basic parts. In numerous scriptures, the Bible talks about our flesh. Our flesh is comprised of two parts: our body (with its five senses – taste, touch, sight, smell, hearing as well as it’s cravings, lusts and desires) and our soul (our mind, our will, and our emotions).  These two are not born again, and when we follow them, we can really mess up our lives and destinies.  

There is then the real us, our spirit (Matthew 26:41). (We spell our spirit  with a small “s”. We spell the Holy Spirit with a capital “S”.) A believer who walks in the spirit bears the fruit of the Spirit. “The fruit  of the of the Spirit (the result of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling and being in control of us as we yield to Him and His promptings, allowing Him to use and change us as He wills) is love, joy (cheerfulness, calm delight), peace (prosperity, peace, quietness, set at one again), longsuffering (forbearance, patience), gentleness (excellence in character or demeanor, kindness), goodness , faith (belief in the truthfulness of God), meekness (humble, submissive, enduring injury with patience and without resentment), temperance (self-control). (Galatians 5:22)  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”  (Galatians 5:25)   

This is in stark contrast to “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness (physically or morally), lasciviousness (without legal, moral, or sexual restraints), idolatry (image worship), witchcraft (literally witchcraft.  See my post Your Words and The Judgement), hatred, variance (wrangling, rivalry, competition) , emulations (jealousy, malice), wrath (indignation, wrath), strife (contentious quarreling [parties which struggle or strive as in a contest, rivalry]), seditions (division), heresies (opinions, doctrines, or practices that go against the truth), Envyings (ill will, jealousy, spite), murders (to kill intentionally with forethought), drunkenness, revellings (rioting, to let loose), and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.(Galatians 5:19-21)  

“But how do we do that?” I hear you!   

And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.” (Mark 9:29)  

Jesus himself said to fast.  Basically, fasting is “afflicting the soul” (Isaiah 16:11): denying the flesh (body, mind and will) what it wants.  This is usually done by not eating.  (For more details and instructions, please see my article Fasting: What is it? Who should do it? Why do it? How do I do it?)  

He also said to add prayer with it.  It takes them both.  

THIS is the only way that believers can truly walk in the spirit.  At least, until Jesus comes back!   

*NOTE: The definitions or basis for the definitions for fruit of the spirit and fruit of the flesh were from or derived from entries found in Strong’s Greek Dictionary as used by e-sword (http://www.esword.com) and Webster’s Dictionary (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/). 

©Copyright 2010 Lisa Ritchey and Bare Bones Gospel


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